Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Red was showing Floyd his pirate ship the other night...

Recently R built a pirate ship of LEGOS and was giving a tour of its features:

Red: “This is the plank, this is the sail, this is the cannon, this is the steering wheel, and these are flowers.”
Will: “Whoa. Wait, Flowers?
Red: “Yeah.”
Me: “You want flowers on your pirate ship?”
Red: “Yeah.”
Me: “What for?”
Red: “Girls like ‘em.”
Me: “You want girls on your pirate ship?”
Red: “Yeah.”
Me: “What for?”
Red: “ ‘Cause. Some of ‘em are pretty. And some of ‘em have curly hair.”

Smart man.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Meee Moaneen, Mama. It's wake up time!

This is a phrase I am hoping to never forget. No matter the time of day, when I get June out of her pack'n'play (crib catastrophe, later post) she jubilantly exclaims, "Meee Moaneen, Mama! It's wake up time!" For whatever reason, the Junebug translation of Good Morning is Me Moan-een. It's one of the most beautiful sounds and always brings a smile, even when I really want her to know that it is almost 9 o'clock at night and no one is fooled by her scheming, it really is bedtime.

We sing several renditions of Jesus Loves Me, or the alphabet, Row your boat, Twinkle Little Star, or Frère Jacques in both French and English. She has quite the musical repertoire and also counts from 1 to 10. Somehow I can't remember when Red started doing all of this!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

the June bug...

This is our Junebug. She's busy as ever, despite my lack of blog coverage of her two year old antics lately. Her favorite food is cereal. With Milk. In a Bowl. So much so that it's the first thing i hear about when she wakes up. "I need cereal. and milk. In a bowl." over and over. :)

She is also enjoying sitting on the potty, although successes in that endeavor are few and far between. I will have to buckle down with her eventually, but i don't see a 4-5 day window at home in the next weeks where we can really knock it out.

We're drinking out of straws and trying on Oma's hat, and basically doing everything big girl toddlers do. She loves shoes and purses and 'baubles' - necklaces. She wants to call everyone on my phone. To say the bug has enjoyed her independence and communication skills is a major understatement.

We just had the 'first haircut' this week and it's pretty darn grown up. She smiles widely and yells "CHEESE!" but also scowls intensely... I never know which will come out, a scowl and silence, or a wide grin and sentence introduction. But we love the variety and the surprises and our sweet girl who rocks babies and holds hands and reminds us to all sit down and eat at the same time and pause to pray. God's using her to sharpen me in ways that are more fun than her infancy molding, and we're trying to bottle the moments as best we know how. And enjoy age TWO!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

dinnertime quotes

RM had a few gems during supper tonight that I don't want to forget:

1. 'Dad, if you eat your dinner, you can get some frozen peas!!!'
--Yes, yes, i do use them as a treat. straight out of the freezer bag. Mama's so tricky.

2. 'Mom, you just pray to Johnny Appleseed.'
--I don't know if who to take this up with... but Daddy must be one heck of a storyteller.

3. 'Well, I just want another brother.'
-- After being told that he should love his sister.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who doesn't love another CHUB contest!?!?

Some of you readers may have been around back in January 2008 for the first round of chub-a-love contest voting... Back when the 07 babes were really sporting their rolls, and we were debating whether or not the first Baker cousin (Garrison) had been outdone by the newbies. Well there is a new Sherriff in town, and his name is Leo. He's sweet #12 in the clan, and in less than 3.5 months, he has worked his way towards a heavy weight title all his own. We can't get enough of those rolls, although his momma is astounded every morning when she lifts him out of his bed at just how quickly he has packed on the pounds. The real question is: which of these wiggling jumping bathing babes took the longest to bathe between all of those rolls!?

So get to voting... you'll have to click the hyper-link for the January '08 voting to refresh your memory and tell us, has Leo outdone his older cousins?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

June made it clear tonite that she is 36hrs away from TWO. "My PANTIES!" She screamed in protest when I pulled out a diaper. "No way!" While I brushed hair.

Monday, July 18, 2011

day one of swim lessons - before and after

BEFORE: ready to take on the world. jump in? sure. dive for sticks? ok.

AFTER: underwater world conquered. on to more important business.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

On being almost FOUR...

i have no idea where Red is coming up with his material lately, but it's urgent that i record it and not forget it. With three months to go until his fourth birthday, here are some new phrases he is saying that are popping up out of the blue:

"Mom, when I go to school, I won't get upset and I won't let you down. Mom, you know that? I won't let you down."

When I found him drinking milk straight from the carton:

"I can just do this easily, mom. It doesn't even spill."

Trying to stir up conversation at dinner:

"Dad, Why did the chicken cross the road to get to the other side?"

On asked about what he did at school that day:

"We just learned about good behavior, and manners... and, just things like that."

On asked what we should make for breakfast:

"We can make a smoothie, mom. You need ingredients, and frozen fruit, and you just BLEND."

When told it wouldn't be long before the babysitter arrived.

"Will it just be five minutes mom? I know about five minutes."

"Mom, knock knock." "Who's there?" "Orange." "Orange Who?" "Orange you glad I didn't say tomato!"

**DISCLAIMER: I didn't teach him about making smoothies. Or how to tell time. It's crazy when your kid starts learning all kinds of things and you realize you had little to do with it. I think we did teach him the knock knocks. He practices them at the lunch table during school.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Spent last night in the children's hospital with RM. Violent allergic reaction, Epipen, ambulance ride... What a Friday. Hopefully we can go home soon.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sarasota in Summer

First, a huge congratulations to our friends Matt & Paige, whose wedding weekend was an excuse for a getaway to Florida. Evelyn & Floyd got on a plane and checked out of reality for four days! I had never visited...

This fabulous place is the rehersal dinner location. We dined. We laughed. We sat in a cabana by the infinity pool overlooking Sarasota Bay. We checked out the mazerati and ferrari in the garage. Aye, me. What a party!

The Crosley Powell Estate is a gorgeous choice for a wedding... we fanned ourselves while a radiant bride and handsome groom were joined in marriage, under the 96 degree sunshine. Finally the sunset gave way to a night filled with dancing, moustaches, time with old pals and making new friends.

Did I mention that M&P had chosen two of my favorite musicians to serenade us during the ceremony? These college roommates are award winning composers together, and I actually fell into one of the greatest naps I've enjoyed in recent years while listening to a practice session. Vinson & Floyd together again!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


They say you learn more in the valleys of life than the peaks. we've had a lot of valleys lately. Sometimes the peaks look really, really far away and unattainable from the deepest regions of those valleys... but i know they are up there. i keep resting on the hope that one step at a time we will gain ground.

April 6th we had a pipe burst in our basement. It entailed a homeowners insurance policy claim and a lot of frustration. we are grateful to have our house back, but every little drip and leak in this 60 year old home makes me cringe and keeps me tense about 'the next imminent fiasco' on the horizon.

Floyd's brakes on his truck gave out a few days later. They had rusted completely through and had to be replaced entirely. A few days later my car died, right before we were set to go out of town. And about ten minutes before I was scheduled to teach the three year old Sunday School lesson. Awesome.

We escaped the mayhem by retreating to the beach for several days with Will's parents. They relax for a few weeks in the Palm Coast of Florida each year, and are gracious to host us. It was great to get away, and coincided with Will's birthday. Having a few minutes of uninterrupted conversation was blissful.

Bookending our trip naturally was the loss of Floyd's cell phone. It disappeared into thin air, and three days later was found by a complete stranger in Florida. Not a big deal alone, but as part of our little pattern of bumps and bruises, quite consequential -- especially when considering the next hit.

The day after we arrived home from our trip, I had a nagging hunch that something was wrong... You see, Will and I had found out we were expecting a third baby in March... and were waiting until early May to go to the doctor. I called to bump up my appointment, and Will was at work (phoneless). As I sat in the ultrasound room, watching the screen and knowing what I saw was not healthy, a shadow of loneliness fell. Tears came streaming down my face as the technician explained that dates were not matching with a viable pregnancy and that most likely this baby stopped growing a couple of weeks before. I drove home in a blur and couldn't bring myself to move.

The doctor had given me choices as to our next steps, but all of them sounded equally horrible. I called a couple of friends who have been through a miscarriage, hoping for someone to tell me there was a better way out. The reality is no solution is good or easy, they are all equally devastating and yet completely unavoidable. A few days later Floyd played his first live show in 18 months. Strange as it may sound, that night was incredibly healing. Watching him do something he is so naturally good at, and seeing a room full of friends both new and old come to hear him play was a great reminder of God's faithfulness.

The next week the children both had the throw up bug, and when Floyd went out of town the following week, my body finally gave in and ceded defeat as well. Throwing up while your diaper-less 22 month old cries for breakfast is really humbling.

Why am I sharing all of this? I guess in hopes that it is over... that we are on our way up. But also to remind myself that while life is hard and full of tough decisions and brokenness, God is faithful. We have a roof over our head and food on our table. We found the means to keep our cars running and have good doctors to return our bodies to health. We have relationships with friends who reflect our Maker and encourage us to press on. God is good, and He does not change. Our circumstances are ever changing, but we serve One who created all and can use all for His glory, and our sanctification. And for that reason, I'm thankful for the valleys.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday surprise ending.

I haven't thought of the lyrics to Rich Mullins' song 'Calling Out Your Name' in a while, but when i saw the sunset tonight, i was awe struck. Grateful that although we toil much in this world, it is filled with an indescribable beauty that stops our busy lives with wonder and amazement.

In the mundane moments of our work responsibilities and the more challenging moments with young children, I am thankful that God gives us beauty that is calling out His name even when we have no words. Here is a segment of the lyrics:

From the place where morning gathers

You can look sometimes forever ’til you see

What time may never know

What time may never know

How the Lord takes by its corners this old world

And shakes us forward and shakes us free

To run wild with the hope

To run wild with the hope

The hope that this thirst will not last long

That it will soon drown in the song

Not sung in vain

And I feel thunder in the sky

I see the sky about to rain

And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

June was the epitome of white-trash baby tonight. Mullet, Pizza crusted shirt, covered in sand, hand-me-down-wal-mart sneakers, and one hand in her diaper. NICE
The last 2 nights we have faced illogical childhood fears with Red. I was told 'the magician' was going to get me and turn me into a frog and lick me. Really?
Yesterday Floyd told Red he was gonna have to get a spanking for defiantly disobeying. Red's response, "This is going to be TERRIBLE!!"

long time, no blog.

things i should document soon:
1. trip to alabama
2. preview to school
3. music developments for WFG
4. nightmares and hilarious tales from RMG
5. baby dolls and conversations from JEG
6. pipe burst, water fiasco, home insurance claims
7. fence building progress in our yard
8. a new nephew

things i won't bore you with but that sucked time and energy out of the last month:
9. the government didn't shutdown
10. DBG moved offices and realized that is more consuming than moving houses

But for now, looking forward with eager anticipation to an upcoming beach trip. Hallelujah!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

big girl seat

June's vocabulary explosion has begun. She talks constantly at home, although she still acts shy and is slow to warm to new places and people. But when she knows her 'mama' and 'dadee' are close by at HOME, she acts like a total extrovert. Her highest frustration still centers on an inability to communicate exactly her wants and desires. One of her most recent words (there are so many to chose from) is 'SEAT!' She will tell me to sit in her rocking chair (SEAT) and read books. She will tell me she wants to get in her booster SEAT to eat. We had the little table and chairs in our dining room for a cousin meal and since then, June sits there about 15 times a day just so that she can say the word SEAT! with good cause. This picture is of her first meal at a big girl SEAT, and you can tell from her expression, she is VERY pleased. She has to be able to do this to sit at the table in the next class up at preschool soon too, so we're working on it for that reason too!

Friday, March 04, 2011

sleepless conversations

I crawled in bed to snuggle a Red at 9:45 tonight. He said, "You're my best friend." I think that meant thank-you-i-love-you-this-is-fun in three year old lingo.

RM told me that sleep was hard to get tonight. He genuinely wants to please, and doesn't want to disappoint by getting out of his bed. But when he has napped, the sleep sincerely escapes him. And it is puzzling for that to happen, when you are three.

He passed along quite a bit of other information too. He told me that Geckos climb trees and play hide and seek. He doesn't like tumbleweeds because they roll very fast. But he thought I should know that camels can eat the spikes on cactus plants. I actually got online tonight to look it up and verify this information. Huh. Bizarre.

Friday, February 18, 2011

two evenings.

The end of the nap. How sad, but it is happening. We are still in that 'nap purgatory' stage of sorts... He can make it two days sans nap, but then he's gotta crash. Here are two evenings juxtaposed. The first was a nap afternoon. Today was not.

Last night RM kept getting out of bed. Finally, very exacerbated, he explained, "My bed is taking forever!" We think he believes that his bed is his vehicle to dreamland much in the same way a microwave is to Tyson's chicken nuggets.

This evening I braved the grocery store. 6pm on a Friday night, with a 3 year old and 18 month old in tow. He hadn't napped. I strapped them in the over sized 'car-cart' and steered the enormous load around the store for an hour, wielding coupons and list. He dragged his fingers along the floor as i cruised one aisle. Then legs started dangling out of the 'windshield' then the 'door' then the 'back window' and finally across Junie's shoulders. Three times I rescued Nemo fruit snacks, Starburst, and Captain Crunch 'All Berries Cereal' from his grip. He sobbed all the way to the car. Crashed at 7:45 after a good scrub down to eliminate the grocery goo. I can't tell who was more tired.

Oh, and I lost more than my sanity in that grocery store. If anyone visits Publix tomorrow and finds a sock and a hairbow, both disappeared, most likely in the frozen food section. We did find both shoes, I am pleased to report.

PS - I saved $54. I still hate couponing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This Ain't Yo Mama's Pot Pie

So, like my friend Ru, I took the Southern Living challenge and took a stab at their cover dish this month. My mouth literally started watering the second I looked at that magazine. I'm pleased to report it was DELISH!!! I'm not a big fan of the same old green beans and peas and what not in my pot pie, so when this one called for leeks, gobs of fresh parsley, and peppered hashbrowns -- well, it's GOOD. If you don't believe me, make it yourself!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

swinging in the sun

Fresh air... and signs of spring on the way. Can you see his face? ELATION. Her? She's tired. But life is great!

Balemtines Breakfast

Valentine's dinner

Floyd grew up with a tradition of a family 'valentine's dinner' celebration, which we are trying to recreate and continue with our family. RM has an extrordinary zest for holidays and celebrations in general. Sometimes at night he asks me to tell him about birthdays, and whatever holiday is nearest. We have been celebrating Valentines for a week, I think. He loves it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Floyd

My Floyd wears a lot of hats. Doting Father. Supportive Husband. Extraordinary Musician. Accidental Carpenter. Former Teacher, Barista, Industrial Project Manager, Contractor, Sonic Branding Marketer. Waterfall Jumper. Worship Leader. Professional Leaf Blower in October. Pollen escape artist in March. Pyromaniac when dead Christmas trees are found. Some of these 'hats' were worn years ago, some are in regular rotation. No matter what, he is always my constant source of encouragement and companionship - I couldn't have asked for better.
Recently, we found out that he will yet be wearing another, as our lives take a different direction this fall. Last week he received a confirmation letter telling us that he will be a student again, pursuing a J.D. over the next few years. I am so proud of him, and glad to stand alongside him as we pursue this opportunity for his career.

Monday, January 24, 2011

talking on the phone.

he is so big. this photo was taken while mommy was at work. RM: "Mom, why do you have to be at the office? Mom, Mom, we're gonna play basketball, and go in the creek, and play trains. is that a good idea? Mom, check your gmail. Bye, mom."

when i checked my gmail, this photo is what i found. i love technology.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bug run after bath.

this little number is ridiculously cute and silly.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


hi. yes. a short entrance back from a rather long silence here. but the last several weeks have lacked structure - snows and breaks and holidays and starts and stops... for now just a cute shot of these two from this afternoon. inspiration struck in the form of 'organize-one-drawer-and-cupboard-at-a-time' in my kitchen. i came across the two bibs from my alma mater, Converse College, which were used quite frequently when they were babies. did i just say 'when they WERE babies?' strange that i blinked and now have toddlers. who will turn 2 and 4 in this new year of 2011. crazy. their expressions are so telling - him with his wide animation, live every moment fully and loudly. making a joke and yet tenderly showing affection to his sister all at once. one day he's going to ask me how on earth his haircuts always looked like the barber was blindfolded. and her with her pursed lips and knowing grin. barely a dimple showing, but i can tell she is on the verge of a full blown laugh - just holding back. she wants to tell her brother 'NO!' and 'MORE' all at the same time. these little people: i hope they are friends for decades and decades.